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On Tuesday, author Colum McCann opened Concordia’s 25th Faith, Reason, and World Affairs Symposium with a plenary session about the necessity of optimism in art. Among other things, he spoke about the importance of being in touch with the reality of what is going on around us: “It helps to know the world outside your room,” he said.

At Concordia, we joke about the “Concordia Bubble”: that comfortable, safe shell of academia and routine in which we wrap ourselves. But the Bubble in fact insulates us from the surrounding local and global community and, on a deeper and more serious level, from the discourse that takes place in that larger world. No thanks to the Bubble, many Cobbers may be guilty of being out of touch with the very world they are called to responsibly engage.

It’s funny, but there’s probably not very much about the Concordia Bubble to be proud of. So this year, work to burst it: pick up a newspaper (and no, painful though it is to admit it, The Concordian probably doesn’t count), get off campus, or even glance at the headlines on the TV screen outside of DS. Because to influence the affairs of the world outside your room, you must first be aware of what’s happening in it.

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